Google kills off print-advertising project

Despite being very successful in online search ads, Google is throwing in the towel for a program to help advertisers with print ads that it says hasn't created anticipated impact.

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As the publishing industry gradually moves online, Google has discovered that it's hard to shift some of its initiatives in the other direction--specifically, advertisements.

"While we hoped that Print Ads would create a new revenue stream for newspapers and produce more relevant advertising for consumers, the product has not created the impact that we--or our partners--wanted," Spencer Spinnell, director of Google print ads, wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "As a result, we will stop offering print ads on February 28."

Google launched the print ad program in November 2006, then expanded it in 2007, but with the recession in full bloom, the search giant has been winnowing projects to cut expenses. Google also offers programs for video and radio ads.

Spinnell said Google still wants to find a way to help the ailing journalism trade.

"We remain dedicated to working with publishers to develop new ways for them to earn money, distribute and aggregate content, and attract new readers online," he said. "We will continue to devote a team of people to look at how we can help newspaper companies. It is clear that the current Print Ads product is not the right solution, so we are freeing up those resources to try to come up with new and innovative online solutions that will have a meaningful impact for users, advertisers, and publishers."

(Via Peter Kafka at All Things Digital.)